Taking a trip 2 week trip to Europe, Asia, South America, anywhere really, is an incredible experience. When you pack with our extreme minimalist travel techniques, it can be even better! Let’s talk about how to pack light for 2 weeks in any destination.
We know packing can be a struggle. On our first trip together, we went to San Diego! We lived in Minnesota at the time, and were excited for some beach time. Unfortunately our airline had other ideas: they lost Julie’s checked bag.
In that bag were all her beach clothes, bikinis, and really everything she needed for the trip. She spent the whole trip switching between 2 bikinis and 2 t-shirts we got at a souvenir shop…
Don’t get me wrong, we still had a great time! San Diego is GORGEOUS, and we loved soaking up the sun hanging out on the beach. But we also learned a lesson about packing: carry on when you can!
Ever since our San Diego trip on we have COMPLETELY avoided checking bags, even on long trips abroad! We have taken 3 week trips to Southeast Asia, 2 week trips to Europe, even a trip to Hawaii all by packing only in carry-ons.
Now, packing for a trip abroad can be a harrowing experience for some. After all, you are going to a completely new country! You may be pulling your hair out as you imagine all of the different scenarios that may come about, just knowing (KNOWING!) that there is something you’re not thinking of.
You are dreading that moment when you get to your destination and realized you forgot something. Something that is going to ruin your trip. Never fear, we created this easy checklist for you! Our list of travel essentials for women – how to pack light for 2 weeks abroad.
Follow our instructions and we guarantee you will be 100% signed, sealed, delivered to an amazing extreme minimalist travel experience abroad!
Official Packing List – Clothes
Of course you are gonna need clothes. We guarantee that it is customary to wear clothes in whatever country you are going to. However, not just any clothes will do. Not for your once-in-a-lifetime 2 week trip!
So what are you really going to need? Options. Any girl knows that. Options are a NEED-TO-HAVE, not a nice-to-have.
We absolutely LOVE photography, and sharing pictures! These are the cameras we use on all of our adventures. The drone and GoPro help us get cool new perspectives (underwater, in the air, wide angle) and the Rebel we use on a day-to-day basis for most of our shots!
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The only problem is that you do NOT have enough space for your whole closet in a carry-on suitcase. We don’t care how good of a packer you are, it just isn’t going to happen!
When you are packing your clothes you may be tempted to switch to a bigger suitcase and check the bag instead of carrying it on. Fight that urge!
Therefore, we are going to have to be strategic in our clothes selection. Choosing tops that go with multiple bottoms and bottoms that go with multiple tops. Maybe a swimsuit cover that doubles as a going-out outfit. Creativity is key!
We came up with a tried and true packing list that we’ve tested and tweaked until we got it perfect. The goal here is to limit yourself to what you can fit into a hard-sided carry-on roller bag. You can do this! Here is the list:
- Beach: Swim Suits x5 – Beach Towel x1
- Tops: Work-out Shirts x5 – Tank Tops x3 – T Shirts x2
- Warmth: Sweater x1 – Sweat Shirt x1 – Zip Up x1 – Rain Jacket x1
- Dresses: Sun Dress x2 – Maxi Dress x2 – Romper x1 – Long Skirt x1
- Pants: Jeans x1 – Leggings x2 – Sweat Pants x1
- Shorts: Jean Shorts x2 – Work-out Shorts x4
- Unmentionables: Socks x7 – Undies x12 – Bras x3 – Sports Bras x6
- Kicks: Tennis Shoes x1 – Sandals x1
- More: Baller Fanny Pack x1 – Toiletries & Bathroom Bag – Travel Pillow
- Bag Recommendation: Cheapest 20″ Hardside Spinner Luggage You Can Find!
Now, if you want to cut down even further on the clothes you are bringing along, there is another strategy. We always find it very helpful to plan a place to stay that has a washer/dryer in it.
Most Airbnbs and some hotels have a washer and dryer for you to do some laundry. Of course, this doesn’t have to be everywhere you stay, just one night each week or so. Then you only need to bring half as many clothes along!
Packing Your Carry On – Clothes
Packing your clothes is a key step in this process. It may seem like a formality at first – don’t you just stuff everything into a bag? Well, yes, but with a few tips and tricks you can actually fit more into less!
- Roll Your Clothes – Rolling our clothes helps compress the air out of them, and you’ll be able to fit more than you would if you just folded them.
- Pack Hard Items First – If you save a camera or your Birkenstocks for last, you’ll have a tough time jamming them into the bag. Start with the hard items and pack the soft stuff around them.
- Pack Your Least Necessary Items Last – If you run out of space while packing, it will be good if the items left unpacked are the ones you are okay leaving behind. Then you won’t have to unpack and repack your entire bag.
- Use the Handles – If you can hang any items off of the bag’s handles, go ahead! Travel pillows are great for this, since they would take up a lot of space inside the bag.
We actually wrote an entire post on our packing hacks. These hacks will work on a long weekend or 2 week trip abroad! Here is the post:
Packing List – Other
Now that you know what you’re going to wear, now you need to pack everything for what you’re going to DO! Are you into photography? Hiking? Reading? Music? Drinking? Eating? Running? All of the above?? Us too!
Now remember, we have already packed everything wearable (clothes, shoes, etc) into our carry-on luggage. We found a way to fit absolutely everything else we are going to need into a backpack.
When you pack this way, with just a carry-on luggage and a backpack, your trip will be SO much less stressful.
- First off, you don’t have to wait in line to check your bag at your home airport.
- Second, you’ll eliminate time spent waiting for your bag at baggage claim.
- Third, you eliminate the opportunity for lost luggage.
- Fourth, you will be able to CRUISE through your destination as you won’t be lugging a giant suitcase!
Here’s what we bring on any and every trip we go on, all fitting in a backpack that fits under an airplane seat:
Here are our best recommendations for travel accessories to complete any trip! We are ALWAYS looking for great deals and shopping on a budget. We swear by these accessories!
- Camera & Lenses
- GoPro Hero7 Black & Accessories
- DJI Mavic Mini Drone
- Bose Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
- Beats Athletic Headphones
- Amazon Kindle
- Woodchuck Adventure Notebook
- Macbook Air Laptop
- Mini Backpack
- International Outlet Adaptors
- Travel Snacks
- Bag Recommendation: North Coyote Hiking Cooler Backpack
Packing Your Backpack
First things first, lay out everything you are going to want to bring along. This will help you make sure you don’t forget anything.
Start packing the largest and most-necessary items first. Make sure those have a firm place in the bag. Follow that with the smaller items, using all of the bags pockets as efficiently as possible.
Make sure to keep items that you’ll need at the airport on the outside where they are easily accessible. Things like your passport and travel snacks. You don’t want to be digging in your bag at the security line!
With this backpack, we always use the buckles to clamp down our tripod, since it saves space and we are able to fit more into the bag itself. Tricks like this can help you bring more along while still avoiding the checked bag process!
And we’re off!
Thank you SO much for reading our post! We hope you learned what to pack for a 2 week trip to Europe, and maybe a thing or two about travel essentials for women in general. Have any questions that you want to ask us? Please reach out in the comments or on the About Us page!
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